Violetta Degtiareva, a 23-year-old rising Russian tennis player dubbed as the next Anna Kournikova, dropped dead after a training session.
On January 12 Degtiareva suffered from heart failure. It is not yet clear as to whether she died at her training centre or on the way to hospital.
Friends and colleagues of a stunning tennis player have expressed shock at the news she had dropped dead from heart failure.
Her most notable career moment was reaching the quarter-finals at the ITF-Turnier in Turkey.
Her good looks often meant people mentioned her in the same vein of Kournikova, who, despite never winning a major title was one of the most recognizable and highly paid female athletes on the planet during her time on tour.
Blonde Violetta had started to attract similar fame.
The blonde beauty was born in the city of Rostov in south-western Russia close to the border with Ukraine.
News of her death was not immediately released and only became public when her close friend and fellow tennis player Anastasia Vdovenco, 20, posted it on Facebook, where it was picked up by Russian media.
Anastasia said: "I can hardly believe it. Rest in peace."